How to create a Fabulous Festive Cheese Board

How to create a Christmas Cheeseboard that’s as unique as you!

Putting together the perfect Christmas cheeseboard can send even the most hardened cheese addict into a fromage frenzy of confusion!

You want to impress your guests with something delicious, unusual and interesting, unctuous and beautiful to behold - but it really doesn’t have to be stressful…

Here's our top tips of how to take the hard work out of curating a cracking Christmas cheeseboard.

There are no set rules for a cheeseboard but as a guide, it makes sense to have a variety of types but then balance it out with your favourites. Most people start with a good hard cheese, add a goat’s or sheep’s cheese, maybe throw in a washed rind stinky cheese, then something soft and white, adding a decent big blue (after all it is Christmas) and then something a bit unusual? There is no right or wrong…

The wonderful thing about cheese is that it’s entirely personal to you, so if you love blue or can’t get enough cheddary cheese, don’t be afraid to have more than one on your cheeseboard. The diversity and uniqueness of cheese from different regions and countries mean that each cheese will have its own personality.”

1 The hard cheese!

Cheddar is awesome, British and delicious! We love Quickes, Wookey Hole, Isle of Mull or Westcombe. But for something a little more festive you could try something a little more colourful with Sparkenhoe, or go continental with a stunning 24 month aged Comte!

2 Goat’s and sheep’s cheese -  we love a Capricorn Goat’s cheese - soft and unctuous, but we love a bit of Ribblesdale cheese from Yorkshire too... because it is such treat. Ticklemore goat's is a delight and the French Osseau Iraty a sheepish winner!

3 Washed Rind Cheese

Washed rind cheeses can be pretty stinky, but get past the smell and they are usually creamy and rich – you can try a festive orange Langres, or maybe a Stinking Bishop – it you can handle it! We love Minger - from brilliant Scottish cheesemaker Highland Fine Cheese!

4 The big Soft White

Of course Brie de Meux is the classic Christmas cheeseboard cheese but it needs to be nice and ripe -  so don’t be afraid to keep it out of the fridge in a relatively warm place before you tuck in. For an English brie you can do worse than Baron Bigod, or Yorkshire’s organic Flat Capper.

5 The big blue

Colston Basset  is pretty darn good – crumbly, classic, robust and a whole mouthful of Christmas, however, we are really rather in love with the same creamery’s latest addition – Beauvale – a softer, subtler, gooier cheese that combines great blue flavour with a really creamy finish. Or you could go full-cream with Montagnolo Affine - a German cheese that tastes more Italian than Italian cheese!  

6 Something unusual …

This can be anything you like (even a Wensleydale with Cranberries if you really must!) but try and be adventurous. For total cheeseboard impact you can’t beat a Yorkshire Char Coal cheddar from Michael Lee Fine Cheese – pitch black but with a super-tasty cheddar flavour. Leafy cheese is also a show stopper – choose a Garlic Yarg or maybe the new Burt’s DiVine… 

For more help and advice about making your best festive Cheeseboard you can visit your local cheesemonger - we recommend George and Joseph in Leeds, OR The Cambridge Cheese Co